Retina MBP no Wifi AC?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kristoffer4, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. kristoffer4 macrumors 6502a

    kristoffer4

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    #1
  2. intofx macrumors regular

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    #2
    Im hoping it on the chip and can be enabled with a firmware upgrade.
     
  3. Marrakas macrumors 6502

    Marrakas

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    #3
    Well, it's not exactly needed unless you do some heavy file transfers on your local network, which in case you'd be better off using a wired connection anyway.

    I wouldn't mind it ofc, but I'm not at all disappointed.
     
  4. Ves macrumors member

    Ves

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    #4
    It wouldn't surprise me if they did.
     
  5. ds. macrumors member

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    #5
    The new MBP doesn't have ethernet so going wired isn't an option either. So I guess people who need to transfer files are out of luck if it wasn't included.
     
  6. Marrakas macrumors 6502

    Marrakas

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    #6
    It does have an adapter. I ordered that just incase.
     
  7. MacRumoren macrumors member

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    #7
    Since I plan on keeping this new MBP for years to come, even though it won't affect me for another year since the new AC routers are not available yet, but for sure I will start regretting when the "only" new feature I could possibly want next year from the new MBP 2013 would be the new AC wifi.

    Is it wishing thinking to "hope" for the AC firmware upgrade? :(
     
  8. Marrakas macrumors 6502

    Marrakas

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    #8
    Yes that's not gonna happen since it's different hardware, so if it's not already in the chip, it can't be enabled through software. I also see no reason they wouldn't advertise it if it was already in the hardware.

    802.11n should be enough for just about anybody at the moment. Unless you're streaming blu-ray movies from another computer or something.
     
  9. blueicedj macrumors 6502

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    #9
    any word on if this was a hidden feature they haven't unlocked yet?
     
  10. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #10
    Apple's early 802.11n-capable systems were only advertised as g. Apple then released a firmware update alongside the first n-capable AirPort Extreme.

    However... people knew of it ahead of time by looking up the specs of the chipset. I don't know whether anyone's done that with the new models yet.
     
  11. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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    #11
    According to iFixit the chip is a 802.11n chip:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.broadcom.com/products/Wireless-LAN/802.11-Wireless-LAN-Solutions/BCM4331


    I don't know enough about the 802.11ac spec to know if this chip is compatible via a firmware update, but I would suspect not.
     
  12. frenchglen macrumors newbie

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    #12
    so..just confirming: we WILL be able to physically upgrade to a future 802.11ac chip since this looks to be a slot in, non-soldered chip??

    kinda crucial for people like MacRumoren and me who want to think about 3 years' time, not just now.
     
  13. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #13
    Yes, it is. Mine is connected via gigabit ethernet right now.
     
  14. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    By the time 802.11ac starts being commonplace, work on getting 802.11-terahertz will have started and make AC look unacceptably slow.

    Might as well not buy anything to begin with :rolleyes:
     
  15. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #15
    iPod Touch 2 had Bluetooth on the chip...but didn't have bluetooth when it was released. In the next OS update they patched it and enabled it. It could be possible....doubtful...but not impossible.
     
  16. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    #16
    See why here:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6023/the-nextgen-macbook-pro-with-retina-display-review/13

     
  17. TickleMeElmo macrumors regular

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    #17
    It would surprise me if Apple could write firmware that enabled hardware that isn't on their computer.
     
  18. jcpb macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Wait a year, your keyword is BCM4335 - and production starts in Q1 2013.
     
  19. wethackrey macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Well that's just a foolish statement. The MBPr DOES have Gigabit Ethernet support. It has an onboard Broadcom BCM57100 series Gigabit Ethernet/Memory Card reader controller. It just lacks the RJ45 connector. You need the Thunderbolt/GigE adapter to connect to it (explaining why the adapter is only $29, by the way). This is a far cry from the computer not having Ethernet. Frankly, I think needing the adapter for the rare times you won't be using WiFi is a great trade-off for being able to deliver a computer as thin and light-weight as the MBPr.
     
  20. wethackrey, Jul 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012

    wethackrey macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I frankly don't know if the Broadcom WiFi chipset in the MBPr can support 802.11ac. It is possible, and it would not be unprecedented.

    Apple has actually done this once before. In January 2007, as Apple prepared to roll out the 802.11n Airport Extreme base station, the company announced that many existing Intel-based Macs sold as supporting 802.11g, could be "unlocked" with a software patch to support the draft 802.11n specification (The n specification wasn't actually ratified by the IEEE until September 2009). This was great news for those of us who had MacBooks that we thought were limited to 802.11g.

    There was some controversy about it at the time because Apple was forced to charge $4.99 for the "upgrade" as a consequence of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. (For some fascinating reading about poorly conceived legislation in the US, do a Google search on "Sarbanes-Oxley and unintended consequences".)

    One thing to note about 802.11ac is that it will be limited to 433Mbps with a single antenna. It supports 8 bonded 433Mbps streams, for a total of about 7Gbps, but, at this point anyway, each spatial stream requires a separate antenna. Cramming up to eight antennas inside an ultra-thin laptop will be a challenge. It's unlikely that the WiFi subsystem in the MBPr has multiple antennas, even if the chipset secretly supports 802.11ac. And, since the Broadcom BCM4331 is pretty well understood at this point I think it's unlikely to be able to converted to "ac" with software
     
  21. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #21
    According to Anandtech's review 3 spatial streams are used since the 2011 MBP, therefore, in my understanding, there are indeed 3 antennae in the MBP.
     
  22. wethackrey macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Well that would be cool. That would mean you could expect to get ~1.2Gb on an 802.11ac card that would fit in a case the size of a MBPr.

    I guess I need to get back over to Anand's site.
     
  23. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #23
    Check out the 2011 Airport extreme and time capsule review. The info is there.
     
  24. Thomas P. macrumors member

    Thomas P.

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    #24
    Can't you share the direct link here with us? That would save lots of time and make it easy for us to take the discussion ahead!
     
  25. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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